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Stolen homes – corruption, cruelty, decency & forgiveness


GOROKA - I have a dream sometimes in which I go back to my childhood home in Mt Hagen.

It reminds me of Lucy Kopana’s recent article of how Lae families are being callously evicted from their homes, often homes they have been paying off for many years.

My family suffered a similar fate in late 2000. Whenever and wherever this happens in our country, it is quite simply a cruel and inhumane thing to do to other human beings.

I especially hate that the victims are mostly honest hardworking citizens of this nation.

On 4 January 1985, my late dad (Dr Peter Are) started work with the health department as the provincial dental officer at Mt Hagen in the Western Highlands Province.

My dad came from from Gumine in Simbu Province, but he served the people of the Western Highlands and the highlands region with distinction until his death on 3 November 2008. He was one of the best dentists and surely the most loved.

Like the people in Lae, my dad was given the opportunity to purchase our house. However, some wicked people somehow made their way through and got it instead. How I hated the threats and the dreadful way in which he was treated. He was truly a harmless soul.

On the day of the final court decision, I accompanied my dad to court. When the court decided in favour of these cruel men, my heart sank and I cried.

We came out of the court room and my dad did something I’ll never forget.

He walked over to those who had manoeuvred to seize the house, shook their hands and congratulated them.

Yes, they were shocked, very shocked.

I asked dad why he did that and he smiled and said, “It’s OK, I forgive them. Let God deal with them”.

No longer home

Birds have nests to sleep in
And lions have their dens
What about us? Tonight with nowhere to go
All we have is each other to hold to

With tears pouring
we started packing
With quivering voices
We said our last goodbyes

With sadness
We walked into the darkness
Leaving behind us our sanctuary
All this suddenly history

Where mum and dad first settled
Where we were born and bred
Suddenly taken away by cruel humans
Through dubious and evil means

We wandered away with reminiscences
Only God understands our grief
To those cruel humans, we forgive you
May God deal with you


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Dominica Are

I’m glad to share this remarkable story of forgiveness that I will never forget. I believe real life stories of forgiveness can inspire us to do the same.

Fr Garry, he was a great friend to the many missionaries he treated. Some still talk about him to this day. He was someone who always has a smiling face and positive spirit despite his own personal battles.

Will, it was a NHC house. He was still paying as rental payments through salary deductions as the sitting tenant to purchase the house when we got the eviction notice.

will self

Was this an NHC House sold under any of the Government Housing Schemes?

Philip Kai Morre

Dominica, I knew your dad. He is to be commended for forgiveness is a strength and letting go of the past is the best thing to do even though it hurts. Only gentle men and brave people do that.

Repression and suppression of problems of the past, carrying them around everywhere we go, is a psychological burden that can create more problems.

Please continue to be optimistic and always look for new avenues and meaning in life.

I know that those who stole your house by dubious means will always find problems and they will never settle down. Something will happen to them.

Marlene Dee

Dominica Are, such a heartwarming story. Just showed what a great man your father truly was. Such a wonderful daughter he has too. Your natural beautiful personality and humble character is obvious. Keep writing.

Atmaleo Aguyanto

Dominica, thank you for sharing. I had to wipe a tear. Your dad was so brave to forgive.

Garry Roche

Dominica, your dad pulled several of my teeth and also gave me fillings. He was indeed a well respected gentleman in Hagen. I do indeed remember you all. I was unaware of the drama concerning the house. Keep writing and loving.

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